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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Greiff’

Given it is now officially an endangered species, any new British musical is worth supporting. This one is still a bit rough at the edges and needs a bit more work, but its original, entertaining and well worth a punt.

It’s 2016 and paternity claims have been privatised and turned into a reality TV show; nothing implausible there! Think Jeremy Kyle. Researchers find ‘claimants’ and put them on air with likely dads in a lie detector chair, present the evidence and let the public decide. There are vox pops of back stories, a live twitter feed and video calls from typical daytime TV viewers.

Two cases are presented – twins from Essex v the Ibiza holiday rep. and a boy from Brazil and the ageing rock star. We are the TV studio audience (required to applaud, cheer & boo on cue) and we get off-screen scenes as well as on-screen scenes and scenes back in Rio. In addition to the subjects of the show, we see the relationships between the producer (a particularly impressive Sarah Earnshaw), the presenter, the floor manager et al

It’s very well staged by Simon Greiff, with good production values, in a realistic studio in, well,  Riverside Studios, with a video wall used to great effect. The lyrics are good, though the book needs a bit of work, and the music fits the story. I liked the four-piece ensemble which serves as a chorus (in the Greek sense) and the performances were fine.

I believe this is writer Paul Rayfield’s debut, in which case it’s an impressive one. It’s an entertaining couple of hours and I’m glad I gave it a go. It might yet prove prophetic – keep watching the daytime TV listings!

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